You may have already heard that a suit and tie is your best bet for a job interview. But did you know that your choice of suit and tie can be just as important as wearing business wear in the first place? Different colors, patterns, and cuts can give potential employers different impressions. The differences are subtle, and often their effect is on a subconscious level, but they could still mean the difference between getting the job…and getting the boot.
Here are five things to wear in order to impress a potential employer.
A Navy or Charcoal Suit
When choosing a suit for a job interview, many men make the mistake of assuming that black is the best color to wear. In truth, black can be a little too formal, giving the impression that you are going to a funeral.
Instead, choose a suit in a dark neutral color. Charcoal grey and navy blue are two great color choices for an interviewing suit. Both are professional and conservative, without seeming overly somber.
A White or Light Blue Shirt
When it comes to successful interviewing attire, there are really only two good color choices for your shirt: white, and light blue. Anything else will be overkill. Remember, once you get the job you can dress with a little more personality, but your interviewing suit needs to walk the straight and narrow.
White and blue shirts tend to give two different impressions, so consider carefully how you want to come across to the interviewer. The contrast between a dark suit and white dress shirt tends to imply authority and extreme professionalism. This is a good look if you are applying for a high-powered position, such as upper level management, or a position in an industry that tends toward more formal dress, such as the finance industry.
Blue, on the other hand, is a calming color. It implies steadfast character traits, such as honesty and loyalty. In addition, wearing blue can cause others to perceive you as more intelligent. A light blue shirt can help to sway the interviewer’s opinion in your favor; however, if you prefer the authoritative look of a white shirt, you can still reap the benefits by wearing a tie that features blue as a main color.
A Conservative Tie
A tie is an important part of an interviewing outfit, but not just any tie will do. You will need a conservative tie, which means traditional colors and pattern. For example, dark-colored ties are most appropriate, such as those with burgundy or dark blue as the main color.
A good interviewing tie also has a traditional, non-distracting pattern. Examples include diagonal stripes, dots, and solids. Patterns should always be regular, as random patterns are typically more distracting. Also, avoid novelty and picture ties, which will cause the interviewer to focus more on your unprofessional attire than on your ability to do the job.
Don’t assume that an interviewer won’t be looking at your feet. Any good interviewer will want as complete an impression of you as possible, and this means looking you over from head to toe. Even if the rest of your outfit is perfect, dull and dirty shoes send the message that you tend to overlook details simply because they don’t seem as important.
Black lace-up dress shoes are always the best choice for a job interview. Make sure your shoes have recently been polished. The result will be a confident, well-put together look that is sure to impress any interviewer.
Briefcase or Portfolio
When dressing for an interview, it is important not to forget about the details.